Major Opposition to New Swedish Copyright Law

A new law designed to make it easier for copyright holders to go after illicit file-sharers will come into force April 1st in Sweden. The IPRED legislation will also increase penalties and ultimately criminalize large scale infringement but according to a new poll, the majority of Swedes are against it.

Due to come into force in just two weeks, the controversial Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED) law will make it easier for copyright holders to get their hands on the personal details of suspected illicit file-sharers.

The law has been controversial from the start, with over 50,000 people signing up to the “Stop IPRED” group on Facebook. Swedish Pirate Party Chairman Rick Falkvinge has been most vocal on the issue.

“These laws are written by digital illiterates who behave like blindfolded, drunken elephants trumpeting about in an egg packaging facility,” he told TorrentFreak. “They have no idea how much damage they’re causing, because they lack today’s literacy: an understanding of how the Internet is reshaping the power structures at their core.”

Nevertheless, Sweden will go ahead with the introduction of the law and, as we predicted back in October last year, the objections to it continue. E24.se reports that a new poll from Sifo indicates that nearly half of all Swedes (48% of those questioned) believe that the IPRED law is wrong.

The group showing the strongest opposition are the typical file-sharers – 15-29 year old men – with a huge 79 percent of those rejecting the new law. In Sweden, 56 percent of men aged between 26 and 35 engage in file-sharing.

From the over 65 years old group, who will generally have less interest in the Internet, 27 percent of them were against IPRED, while 34 percent demonstrated support. The narrow 50-54 year olds group showed a 45 percent opposition to the law.

Overall, just 32 per cent of respondents were in favor of the legislation.

In response to the new law and the heated copyright debate, the National Library of Sweden has closed its open Wi-Fi network. They have thereby disabled online access to a lot of research material, which can now only be accessed upon request -just like in the olden days.

IPRED will come into effect April 1st 2009.

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